A Long Walk

So, as a child…as a little girl…I remember I’m sitting in my grandmother’s dark kitchen…she never turn on the light. It was dark in the room and she said “Why do you need the light?” “Grandma, it’s dark.” “If it’s too dark for you, you need to go to go to sleep.” So, every night, grandma was living in this little village and at this time every night if you wanted to know what’s happening in the village you stay at home and people from different parts of the village were going from house to house to house to tell what happened in their yard or in the family or whatever happened people were going from house to house telling each other story. And then the person would go to the next house and tell the story. And the funny part was that usually the story you heard the next morning was completely different because the person who told the story the last time would come to you and say “No. That’s not what we said.” So we always had a different story about every single that happened. If someone said my cow was a little wounded. The next morning a neighbor was coming and saying “I heard your cow just died.” But during World War II, my grandma and my grandpa they lived through the World War II and they were from Ukraine. It was and they were telling us often the story of how they walked from Ukraine to Poland and why they walked and how many miles. It took them virtually seven months to walk with two children from Ukraine to the part of Poland they end up…they took a house because it was empty and how the NAZIs will still trying to push them away and how few of the family members died on the road. They didn’t survive. Some of them because they were sick. Some of them because they were killed by the NAZIs and my family was Jewish. And so that was a big story. The fact that they survived some of these members had to do purely with the luck because they were able to survive through the hiding and people sometimes hidden houses or I don’t know or underground and all of these stories they are vivid. I don’t remember specific story but I remember that it took a tremendous amount of strength, a tremendous amount of wisdom. The type of the character that right now we don’t have to exercise on a daily basis. Only if we want to be successful but not to survive. And I learned that now we live in a completely different place. A much more beautiful place where we don’t have to exercise these parts of the character where we have them to survive but only to make our lives and other people’s lives better. That sometimes comes to me if I only knew how to express this to other people that procrastination is an artificial concept. I don’t believe in it. It doesn’t exist. Laziness. I don’t believe. No one is lazy. We just don’t have a motivation. So so many of things we go and I know that you’ve done a lot on your journey and that just because you have a strong motive behind why you need to go certain things why you needed to go certain things through this just because you needed to. So sometimes I wish for all of us to need to be in a place where we need to exercise this, these precious parts of character that aren’t awakened anymore. So hearing these stories from my grandparents really reminds me.

Background Information: Gosia is Polish. She’s the wife of Glen Steele, my stepdad’s wife.

Context of the Performance: The story was performed in Glen’s house.

My Thoughts on the Piece: I think it is fascinating that Gosia doesn’t remember a specific story of her grandparents’ persecution but it’s clear that she has a very strong feeling of what happened. That more than the facts of any specific incident are what her grandmother transmitted to her. This story to me just demonstrates how easily values can be lost. Gosia has a sense of this value that her grandparents felt and that she feels but she doesn’t quite know how to express or communicate to the world. There are so many feelings like that and then enough generations pass and they are lost and have to be rediscovered.